I didn’t think I’d say this, but I think the cracks are beginning to show for The Mandalorian, the show that launched Disney+ into the stratosphere. While a sense of the story can be seen, it does also seem like Din has been relegated to a supporting character in his own series as the writers work on adding material that could’ve served this season well, but was included in The Book of Boba Fett instead. Viewership has been dropping for the fan favourite series and I can sort of understand why, as the show seems a little lost, with the core story being pushed to the side so far in favour of creature encounters and side quests while Bo Katan continues to be a much more interesting character than the series lead.
Condensed into a very brief thirty minutes, The Foundling focuses on a few brief plot points that orbit around the central one. It’s unfortunate then, that the central plot, where a giant dragon-like creature takes a Mandalorian Foundling back to its lair, feels so unimportant. The writers seemed to be working overtime trying to make this narrative make sense, but a lot of plot holes or lapses in judgment still persist. For instance, the Foundling was taken but instead of bringing him to the nest right away to feed him to the creature’s offspring, as intended, the dragon opted to go to sleep right next door to the nest instead, which naturally gives the Covert time to catch up. It just feels very manufactured.
Another element that seemed to not make much sense was having all the Mandalorians chase the dragon with their jetpacks knowing they’ve never found the lair due to the distance in the past. So why not just have everyone load into Bo Karan’s ship, as that’s how she follows the creature and succeeds in finding the lair. All this was done to allow Bo to earn some good grace in the Covert, but again, it feels manufactured.
While the Mandalorians are out on the hunt, Grogu stays behind with the Armorer, who bestows him with a piece of armour as he’s also a Foundling in this Covert. As the piece is being forged, he has a flashback to the events of Order 66, our best look at the event to date. The scene, which takes place over the course of a few minutes, reveals that Grogu was saved and taken off-planet by Jedi Master Kelleran Beq, played by the one and only Ahmed Best, perhaps best known as Jar Jar Binks. It’s great to see that Best, who suffered greatly thanks to playing Binks, has found a new place in the fandom as a badass Jedi Master who saved Grogu. The scene was also really fun. Even though it was action-heavy, it felt important. Grogu’s training with the Mandalorians does feel a bit tacked on though, as we saw Grogu training with Luke already so we know the little guy is capable.
The episode ends with Bo Katan, whose been stealing the show from Din, getting a new pauldron from the Armorer. After her encounter with the Mythosaur, she asks that her new pauldron bear the signet of the mythical creature, revealing that she’s in fact seen such a creature. The Armorer considers Bo to be lucky to have seen such a vision, with Bo clarifying that this was the real deal. The Armorer retorts with “this is the way”. Does she believe Bo will make the prophecy a reality or is she more entertaining this newest member? Hard to say, the Armorer remains one of the biggest enigmas on the show to date. But the show’s third season remains a bit spotty, as if they don’t really know what to do with Din now that his quest to bring Grogu to the Jedi has been undone and he doesn’t seek to unite the clans under the Darksaber. Grogu trains to be a Mandalorian himself, but if all this is leading to Bo attempting to take the throne while Din sits on the sidelines, I think the show will have gotten things a little jumbled.